Principle #3 – Discover What Juices You…and Pursue It!

Throughout the years, African Americans have made a tremendous impact in our country. They have shown courage by pushing through years of slavery, racial inequality, and social injustice to gain the same freedom and opportunities given to all Americans in our constitution. Their dedication and sacrifice have taught us how we can all live our lives with purpose and inspiration.

Why, oh why, are African Americans and all people of color still not treated equally? Why do some have to work extra hard to be respected and treated with dignity? Why don’t they have the same opportunities to the American dream that is a right for white people?

We are inspired by their persistence and love for our country to create a better future…a country that often treats them so poorly. We appreciate the tenacity to never give up and continue inching forward toward equality for all.

“While we might feel small, separate, and all alone, our people have never been more tightly tethered. The question’s not if we will weather this unknown, but how we will weather the unknown together.” – Amanda Gorman, “The Miracle of Morning”

When my daughters were in third grade, in Texas, during Black History Month, they each wrote their first book report. The assignment was to choose a historical African American to research and write about. In the early ‘90s, their school was just beginning to get computers in their school library. So, all third-grade classes would go to the library three times a week to learn how to find books and research on the World Wide Web…remember, it was the ‘90s…this is what we used to call the Web.

My oldest daughter chose Rosa Parks, and my youngest daughter chose Harriet Tubman. This was their first exposure to the struggles of African Americans. It was hard for them to understand the treatment of African Americans because it was so obviously wrong.

A child’s world is small; they only understand what surrounds them. All children learn the good and the unpleasant of our nation’s history as they get older. It is up to us, as parents, to talk to them about the inequality and injustices experienced by people of color. I admit that I didn’t do a good job teaching these truths to my girls when they were young. We have had many discussions about racial injustice as they grew older. Now that I’m a Mammy, I have these critical discussions with my grandson to bring him a fuller understanding of race in America.

During Black History Month, we celebrate many African Americans who have made a difference through our country’s history. We want to share why we are celebrating our African American heroes.

Vice-President Kamala Harris shares a constant refrain that any girl of color can grow up to be and do anything she wishes. Stacey Abrams wants all voices to be heard in our democracy. She assists people of color to register and vote in elections. Amanda Gorman shares her heart-felt poetry in service to reader’s hearts and minds. She proves that age is irrelevant when it comes to making a positive impact. Senators Raphael Warnock, Val Demings, and Cory Booker are relentless in pursuing equal justice under the law. We admire these heroes for being a beacon of light for all, regardless of our color, age, or gender.

The suffering of African Americans makes our hearts hurt. We may have abolished slavery, and our civilized society no longer requires an African American to stand up for a white person to sit down on a bus, but inequality still exists. The systemic racism that creates structures, laws, and practices that produce an unfair playing field for people of color is still with us.

For all Americans to experience “liberty and justice for all,” we must stand up for equality to bring about the needed changes, in big and small ways. We believe we can all help by treating everyone with respect and speaking up if we see any person’s mistreatment.

These influential African Americans have something in common; they are living their life’s purpose. They are fearless and stand strong in their beliefs in the face of adversity. Most importantly, they are passionate about their intention to help all people of color have a life of opportunity and equality.

“Your life has purpose. Your story is important. Your dreams count. Your voice matters. You were born to make an impact.” – Unknown

What about you? Do you live your purpose? Let us follow the example of our African American heroes. What speaks to you? Everyone has a ‘why’…what is yours? What is your ‘why’ for getting out of bed each morning? There is freedom in doing what you are meant to do in your life. Why not start now…make a difference and live your purpose; our world needs you at full strength.

Freedom is possible!

Deb & Cindy

P.S. I wrote this blog in collaboration with my sister, Cindy. (Thank you, Cin) Like many of you, racial inequality and social injustice deeply touch our hearts. We can be part of the solution to stop racial disparities in our country. Won’t you join us and stand up for equality for all? Please share this message with your family and friends. Change starts with us.

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